South Asia

Suu Kyi hopes for Myanmar statute changes ahead of 2015 polls

Myanmar is expected to amend the constitution to make it more democratic before the 2015 general election, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Saturday.

“I believe these (amendments) will be done before 2015 because it is the people’s desire,” Ms. Suu Kyi said after a meeting with political parties representing ethnic minorities in parliament.

The 2008 charter, pushed through by the junta that ruled during 1988-2010, contains numerous “undemocratic” clauses, such as the stipulation that 25 per cent of parliamentary seats be held by appointees of the military.

Ethnic minority groups widely opposed the constitution because it denied them any autonomy in their home territories.

Ms. Suu Kyi, the daughter of independence leader and army founder Bogyoke Aung San, said the military should support an amendment to the clause that guarantees it control over one-fourth of parliament.

“I believe the military will fully support it because they will also want to be professionals,” Ms. Suu Kyi said.

She did not mention another controversial clause that essentially bars Ms. Suu Kyi from becoming president because she was married to a foreigner.

Ms. Suu Kyi, who grew up abroad, was married to the late Oxford profession Michael Aris.

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) and the ethnic parties agreed to launch a nationwide campaign to explain which parts of the constitution should be amended.

“This process must be done within two months because we will submit a report based on the responses from people to the parliamentary committee reviewing the constitution on December 1,” NLD spokesman Nyan Win said.

The committee is scheduled to submit a report on its findings to the full parliament before December 31.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 3:38:43 AM |

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